New redistricting maps were approved by Texas Republicans on Monday amid state Democrats arguing that the maps were the product of a rushed process.
The state GOP lawmakers approved redrawn U.S. House maps that appear to favor incumbents and limit the representation of marginalized communities in the red state, according to The Associated Press.
“What we are doing in passing this congressional map is a disservice to the people of Texas,” Democratic state Rep. Rafael Anchia reportedly told his colleagues right before the vote.
Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure Texas blames supply chain snarls for shortage of voter registration forms O'Rourke says he raised record .2M since launching campaign for Texas governor MORE (R) is expected to sign off on the changes. His office did not immediately respond to the AP's request for comment.
On Monday, before Texas lawmakers had the opportunity to vote on changes to the map, civil rights groups filed a lawsuit alleging that the Texas Republican Party has sought to weaken the vote of marginalized communities by not including any districts in the map that represent a Latino majority. Latinos account for nearly half of Texas’s 4 million new residents in the last 10 years, the AP reported.
The maps also are void of districts where Black or Hispanic voters make up more than 50 percent of the voting population, despite those communities making up over 90 percent of new Texas residents over the past decade, AP noted.
Republicans have pushed back on criticism that the maps align with their political goals and seek to dilute the vote of marginalized communities in Texas.
State Sen. Joan Huffman (R), who leads the Senate Redistricting Committee and authored the maps, argued that they were “drawn blind to race.”